The Crippling Beauty of the Equinox.
It always happens during this time of year.
The changing of the seasons brings the beginning of the most massively transformative period within these twelve months. Fall is my ultimate favorite time, but it’s also the most harrowing. It’s a time of consolidation of everything that’s come to pass and everything we still want to accomplish.
With that consolidation comes release — letting go of anything that’s still standing in the way of us reaching that next plateau. The goal post, inches within reach, just waiting for us to drop that one last suitcase.
Fall is a mirror; the Equinox, a raiser of the dead. This is the time our ghosts come to visit. Now is when our demons begin to (not so gently) rap on the iron grates we’re still unwilling to raise.
It always amazes me how much sadness and rage I hold inside. Every time it comes bursting out, it takes me by surprise. Haven’t I released that yet? Why the fuck am I still holding onto all that bullshit? Grudges, grievances, straight up nonsense that’s dead and gone, buried and forgotten.
But not. At all. We don’t forget. Our cells don’t forget. Our hearts don’t forget. Our twisted insides don’t forget. And all we need is the slightest trigger for it all to come rushing back. I don’t know how to ever fully get rid of all the hurts and scars.
All I know is that every time I find myself in a situation that dredges all the old shit up, I find myself, even if momentarily, transported back to the original pain. That place I get stuck in. That pitch black pit. That little girl that I see, knees gathered to her chest, chin buried and eyes closed.
White knuckles, tattered nightgown. Left for dead, turned backs and raised voices. Not good enough. There’s something wrong with you. What the fuck is your problem? Everything was okay until you walked in.
You get it. We all have our Pits of Despair — our PODs that we retreat to not out of relief, but routine. The places of darkness in which we feel safe because they’ve always been a constant.
Those places of refuge have never turned their backs on us — they’ve always welcomed us back, created a sickening home with the curl of a gnarled finger, begging us to resume our spot. Begging us to fill the void we leave when we eventually make our way back out.
It makes me simultaneously sick and comforted to think about. To know that I shrink back into that space, become that girl over and over and over again. That after all these years, I’ve let that little girl sit alone, ignored, shamed.
I haven’t been able to look her in the eye because doing that would acknowledge everything I’ve been denying.
That’s a fucking hard truth to face. The moment you realize you’ve ritually turned your back on yourself, just as the ones who left you in the cold did, and the ones who abandoned you.
That all this time you’ve been screaming about breaking the cycle, just to internalize it rather than inflicting it on someone else. For some of us, it’s easier to hurt ourselves than to hurt someone else. It’s easier to continually beat on ourselves rather than project that abuse.
But that doesn’t make it any better. It might even make it worse. I don’t know.
I guess patience might be the key here. Patience and compassion. Try internalizing that. It’s not easy. Doable, but arduous.
It takes the seconds and moments and days and years that make up our time here to first realize the damage done, and then try, maybe harder than anything we’ve ever tried at, to make it right.
Right by ourselves, first.
Right by our hearts, so we can actually start living and loving and being the person we really are inside. Right by our core, respecting our true self, rather than condemning that spark to a life of imprisonment while we try to fulfill some bullshit ideal or vision that we’ve garnered from outside influences.
Outside energies that don’t have our best interests in mind. Outside forces that are desperately trying to fill the dark void in their ego that they’re feverishly running from.
This is Step One. Acknowledgment. That’s always the first step, right? That’s what they always tell you — acknowledgment and awareness. Yeah, I’ve heard that a million times. But sometimes it takes decades for the act of acknowledgement to transform into living it. Knowing it.
Feeling it so hard that you can’t run from it anymore.
So here’s my first step towards knowing acknowledgment. I feel kind of sick and exhilarated and completely petrified and unflinchingly fucking stoked. I kind of feel like I’m going to puke… but I think that’s a good thing.
I don’t know. But I’ll let you know when I do.
I’m not going to end this neatly. I’m not leaving on a positive note. What I will do is surrender to this cycle, this turning of the wheel.
I’ll give myself over to the changing leaves and the cold winds and the shorter days, knowing that this external change is triggering a staggering internal change, just as it does year after year.
There’s always the risk that I won’t emerge from my subterranean system of tunnels and catacombs.
There’s always the fear that I’ll get lost down there, wandering, my screams for help falling on deaf and indifferent ears.
But I’m writing this, which means I always come back, stronger and with one less suitcase. That’s what the Equinox is all about.
We create our own lanterns to guide us through, and when we do emerge, covered in soot and shit and ready for the most brutally scolding and purifying showers of our lives; we’ve exchanged our baggage for something we didn’t have before — one more piece of ourselves.
One more piece to the puzzle. One more coordinate on the map of those tunnels that never end.
And they’re not supposed to. That’s the journey. And that’s the power and crippling beauty of the Equinox.